Based on reports from publications in India which have been accurate in the past, Harley Davidson is already upgrading their four month old assembly plant in India that currently builds motorcycles from knock down kits shipped from the US. After the upgrade, the factory will become a “mother plant” which will produce complete motorcycles from scratch using components delivered from local suppliers. Indian tariffs levied on imported bikes is 110%, on those assembled from kits it’s 60%. If the Harley cruisers are completely built in India, one would logically assume there is no import tariff at all, making them considerably cheaper when sold in those markets. The Indian plant is aimed at serving all of the Asian market.
The company has asked its global vendors in the US and Thailand to set up manufacturing units in Bawal. It has also given expressions of interest to Indian component makers for supply of vehicle parts to its Haryana unit, which would commence its operations in mid-2011,
Now, if I were watching how quickly HD went from imports to knock down kits and, it now seems, to full production in India, I’d have to wonder how long it would be before they took one more logical step. Hmm, … remember when Royal Enfield was a British bike?
UPDATE: Harley is denying this report as rumor and says there is no plan to turn the assembly plant into a full factory.
Link”: Milwaukee Business Journal